Saturday, February 10

Will Wright Popular Science Interview

D.I.C.E 2007 is currently taking place in Vegas, which for us means we get to see the big bosses come out and tell us about their games or share their opinions. Popular Science has intereviewed Will Wright recently, asking eight pages of questions. I know, I know, it seems daunting, but really, its quite educational. Plus, its Will Wright, how can you pass on that?

Some choice quotes:

Yeah, there's small to large in scale, but there's also the distant past to the distant future in time, so in some sense it's a map as much of space and scale but of time as well, but life is kind of like the portrait we're putting into this frame. We’re looking at life from the very small to the very large and from the distant past to the distant future.

Do you see Spore, or the rest of your games for that matter, as being educational?
I think in a deep way yeah – that's kind of why I do them. But not in a curriculum-based, 'I'm gong to teach you facts' kind of way. I think more in terms of deep lessons of things like problem-solving, or just creativity – creativity is a fundamental of education that's not really taught so much. But giving people tools… what it means to be human is to learn to use tools to basically expand your abilities. And I think computer games are in some sense a fundamental tool for our imagination. If we can let players create these elaborate worlds, there's a lot of thought, design thought, problem solving, expression that goes into what you're going to create. You know, I think of the world of hobbies, which isn't what it used to be. When I was a kid, you know, people that were into trains had a big train set and they spent a lot of time sculpting mountains and building villages, or they might have been into slot cars or dollhouses or whatever, but these hobbies involved skill, involved creativity, and at some point involved socialization. Finding other people and joining the model train club, comparing and contrasting our skills, our approaches. And I think a lot of computer gaming has kind of supplanted those activities, they have a lot of the aspects of hobbies. Especially the games that allow the player to be creative and to share that creativity and form a community around it. I think just in general, play is about problem-solving, about interacting with things in an unstructured way to get a sense of it and what the rules are.

But if you could predict exactly what would happen as a result of your actions, there would be no entertainment there. So it's exactly the fact that when I do something I want to stop and see what's going to happen, I have to actually watch it play out, as opposed to automatically know the future…
Check it out.
Popular Science-Will Wright Interview

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